Everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1. (Representative image)
As many as 32.76 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on April 19, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report.
With that, more than 12.71 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far. On April 19, 22.87 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 9.89 lakh people were given their second dose. This included healthcare and frontline workers, people aged over 60 and beneficiaries above the age of 45 with or without comorbidities.
The government had earlier revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, to six-eight weeks. However, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin remains unchanged.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16, with healthcare workers at the frontline of India's COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs.
The country began the second phase of the vaccination drive from March 1 in which everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities could start getting the vaccine.
From April 1, vaccination was opened for everyone above the age of 45 with or without comorbidities.
Everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1, the central government announced on April 19 as it liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination process:
> Under the third phase of the national vaccination drive commencing in May, the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 percent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 percent doses to state governments and in the open market. Manufacturers would have to make an advance declaration of the price for the 50 percent supply that would be available to the state governments and in the open market before May 1, 2021, an official statement by the Union Health Ministry said.
> Multinational pharma giant Johnson & Johnson has reportedly applied to India's drug regulator seeking permission to conduct phase-3 clinical trial of its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine as well as import licence. The company has reportedly sought an early meeting of the subject expert committee on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to take a decision on its application.
> External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar strongly rejected criticism over India's export of COVID-19 vaccines on April 19, saying there were global commitments for variety of reasons including for the procurement of raw materials for production of the jabs.
> A total of 1,22,83,050 (1.22 crore) people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Maharashtra so far, the state government said.
> Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope was administered the COVID-19 vaccine on April 19. Tope tweeted that he received the jab at the JJ Hospital in Mumbai. The minister also urged all citizens above the age of 45 to get themselves vaccinated.
> With the government opening the COVID-19 vaccination drive to everyone above the age of 18, PM Modi has called a meeting with vaccine manufacturers on April 20. During the meeting, scheduled to be held through video conference at 6 pm on April 20, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will make a presentation and also coordinate with all the participants.
> The White House did not respond to questions on the request by Serum Institute of India to lift export ban on certain raw materials needed for ramping up production of COVID-19 vaccine. The question in this regard was asked twice -- once during the morning briefing on COVID-19 and later during the daily news conference by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.Here's the vaccination count in some states:
|Andhra Pradesh|| 47,56,984|
|Tamil Nadu|| 48,14,662|
|Uttar Pradesh|| 1,09,09,765|
|West Bengal|| 89,76,743|